Country of the Month: Netherlands and Belgium
ChiRunning and ChiWalking are expanding and growing all over the world. Two of the first countries to truly adopt the ChiTechniques were Netherlands and Belgium. This is due in part to the efforts of Marion Meesters and Ans Oudejaans, who are our Regional Directors of these countries. And, we believe the early success is also due to the open minded, inquisitive nature of the Dutch and Belgian people.
Marion is a Master Instructor and did her instructor training in 2006. Ans is a Senior Instructor, who is also a Total Immersion Swimming coach.
The Netherlands has 17 Certified Instructors, with 7 candidates almost finished with their training, all within this small country (16 million inhabitants) by the sea.
All three of the Chi Books (ChiRunning, ChiWalking, ChiMarathon) have been translated into Dutch by Marion, who is gifted with fluency in many languages.
After 10 years of ChiRunning in the Netherlands and Belgium, most runners have at least heard of the benefits. When you go to a running store as a ChiRunner, the salesperson might even have an idea of the kind of shoe you are looking for.
However, the ChiRunning community is still small and it is time for a new boost. With so many experienced and new instructors, and a new website in the making, that will certainly happen.
I started with ChiRunning to get rid of my continuous injuries. I bought the book and DVD in 2004. The book was signed by Danny, because it was so new, he still signed every copy of it. I decided to become an instructor, because I wanted other people to experience the same magic as I did. From the start, I tried to get as much publicity as I could. At the same time, I tried to assist Danny as often as was reasonably possible. I became a master instructor and started to teach candidate instructors. Ans and I took on a central role for ChiRunning and ChiWalking in the Netherlands from the beginning. It was a logical step to subsequently become the regional directorate for The Netherlands/Belgium.
For years I was a dedicated speed skater. Sometimes I tried to run in the summer, always, after a month or so, my left knee started to hurt. Marion introduced me to ChiRunning. No surprise, ChiRunning made running possible. So I became an instructor, and at my first instructor weekend someone told me about Total Immersion Swimming techniques, being related to ChiRunning like a sister. And after I stopped speed skating I became a Total Immersion Coach. Now I combine both, as I love to teach swimming and running and doing (off road) triathlons, the sprint or Olympic distances.
We are so excited to have Ans and Marion as our Regional Directors in the Netherlands and Belgium! They bring great leadership to the ChiRunning community and we can’t wait to watch it continue to grow. To find out more, visit their website at http://www.chirunning.nl.